Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

22 Nights featuring Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia Lake Bled, Slovenia

Includes Airfare, Hotel, Tours, Transfers, Baggage Handling, and more!

Departs: Jul 10, 2020

About This Journey

Few Journeys explore so many destinations in one trip! This incredible, 22-night Journey will guide you through 11 different countries as you discover unspoiled natural beauty and partake in unique cultural experiences. In the last few decades, the restored nations of the Balkans and the Black Sea have rebuilt their infrastructure and revitalized their identity and culture. A recent boom in tourism has left the locals eager to share their way of life and showcase their national wonders. In the Balkans we will explore Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. This region of the world is an earthly paradise of clear blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, lush forests and green hillsides dotted with quaint villages. You will sample wine at local vineyards, clap along to traditional music, visit historic monuments, cruise on pristine lakes and walk below waterfalls. You will discover the area’s intricate mix of cultures and learn about the architectural wonders left behind by imperial legacies: Venetian palaces, Viennese mansions, Gothic churches, Hungarian-style farmhouses, Roman amphitheaters and Socialist Realist sculptures. After an incredible land program through an area renowned for its hospitality, you will then fly to Athens to embark the Azamara Journey. On this unique cruise itinerary you will discover the highlights of the Black Sea, crossing the Bosphorus Strait to visit Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia before returning back to Greece. Don’t miss one of our most comprehensive Journeys yet!

Visits: Zagreb, Trakoscan Castle, Plitvice National Park, Croatia; Slovenia; Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belgrade, Serbia; Athens, Kavala, Skiathos, Greece; Ephesus, Trabzon, Turkey; Bosphorus Strait; Varna, Bulgaria; Batumi, Georgia; Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta, Romania; Sochi, Russia; Batumi, Georgia;

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Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

Itinerary

Aboard Azamara Journey

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Arrive Zagreb – Transfer to Hotel; Evening Walking Tour and Welcome Dinner
2 Zagreb – Tour to Trakoscan Castle and Apple/Wine Farm
3 Zagreb – Tour to Plitvice National Park and Local Winery
4 Zagreb – Free Time and Evening Cultural Experience
5 Zagreb – Tour to Slovenia and Lake Bled
6 Zagreb to Banja Luka – Winery Visit, City Tour and Traditional Dinner
7 Banja Luka to Belgrade – City Tour and Farewell Dinner
8 Transfer to Belgrade Airport, Fly to Athens, Greece – Hotel Stay
9 Athens (Piraeus), Greece – Transfer to Ship for Embarkation 5:00 PM
10 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 9:00 AM 11:00 PM
11 Bosphorus Strait (Cruising)
12 Varna, Bulgaria 9:30 AM 9:00 PM
13 Constanta, Romania 7:30 AM 6:00 PM
14 Odessa, Ukraine 9:30 AM 8:00 PM
15 At Sea
16 Sochi, Russia 8:00 AM 8:00 PM
17 Batumi, Georgia 8:00 AM 8:00 PM
18 Trabzon, Turkey 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
19 At Sea
20 Bosphorus Strait (Cruising)
21 Kavala, Greece 8:00 AM 8:00 PM
22 Skiathos, Greece 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
23 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 6:00 AM
 Visits: Sydney, A 
 

Land Package Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrive Zagreb, Croatia
St. Marks Church, Zagreb, Croatia

St. Marks Church, Zagreb, Croatia

Your adventure begins in the capital of Croatia, vibrant Zagreb! Upon arrival at the airport, meet your Enrichment Journey Guide, who will assist with transferring you to the hotel. After check-in, you’ll have time to get settled in and relax. In the afternoon, join your fellow travelers for a city introduction tour. We will walk through the center of Zagreb, including Zagreb Upper Town, the Lotrscak Tower, St. Mark’s Square, the Parliament Building, Stone Gate, Strossmayer Promenade and more. One of Zagreb’s most iconic landmarks is the funicular from Ilica Street to the Upper Town, where you can take in some of the best views of the city from the romantic Strossmayer Promenade. The promenade runs along the remains of Zagreb’s medieval defense walls and was named after a famous 19th-century Croatian bishop and politician. Lined with chestnut trees and offering expansive views of the city, this is one of Zagreb’s most popular and scenic footpaths. Local artists often display their products here, so it is a good spot to buy some souvenirs. After the tour, we will end our first day with a special meal at a local restaurant. (D)

  • Day 2: Zagreb and Trakoscan Castle
Trakoscan Castle, Croatia

Trakoscan Castle, Croatia

Today you’ll have a chance to visit the countryside in the north-west region of Croatia. Along the way you will enjoy scenic views of the green hills and picturesque villages of Zagorje. Our first stop will be Trakoscan Castle, one of the most attractive and visited castles in Croatia. It was built in the 13th century and is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. In the 16th century the castle was taken over by Croatian Ban Juraj Draskovic for his personal use, and his family remained its hereditary owners until World War II. In addition to the castle’s remarkably faithful reconstruction, the castle Trakošćan contains valuable examples of baroque furniture, various weapons used between the 15th and 19th centuries, and other items. The romantic English-styled garden and lake in front of the castle is also not to be missed.

After the tour of the Castle, we will make our way through the hilly landscape to a family-run farm. Here, you will learn about the estate’s apple and wine production, enjoy a tasting of some of these products and indulge in a delicious lunch. With a full belly and tipsy merriment, we will head back to Zagreb. (B, L)

  • Day 3: Zagreb and the Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park

We will depart Zagreb early and drive to Croatia’s most famous national park – the Plitvice Lakes. Situated in the mountainous Gorski Kotar region, the Plitvice Lakes National Park covers almost 115 square miles of forested area and 16 crystalline lakes. These famous lakes are divided into 12 upper and 4 lower lakes, and are all connected by a series of cascades and waterfalls that culminate at the Great Waterfall. The park contains a myriad of walking paths that take visitors through the woods and along the lakes, providing spectacular views of the seemingly endless array of mesmerizing waterfalls. We will spend the morning on a walking tour of the park, including a boat ride along one of the lakes.

After our visit we will have lunch, then travel to one of the most renowned wine regions in Croatia – Plesivica. Here you will visit a local winery and taste some of the best wines in the country. (B, L)

  • Day 4: Zagreb
Licitars Hearts

Licitars Hearts

Today you will have lots of free time to stroll around charming Zagreb.

In the late afternoon, rejoin the group for an evening of cultural delights! First, we will learn how to make licitar – a traditional treat dating back to the Middle Ages. This sweet delicacy is made of honey dough, then formed into the shape of a heart and decorated in bright red with white trim; though it can also come in various shapes, sizes and colors. Smaller licitars are a favorite Christmas tree decoration in Croatian homes, whereas the larger ones are often given as gifts, especially on Valentine’s Day. The workshop will teach us about all stages of licitar production. After creating your licitar, sit back and enjoy both a feast of local cuisine and a lively folklore performance, which brings to life some of the traditional dances and music from Zagreb and its nearby regions. (B, D)

  • Day 5: Zagreb and Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Today we will explore Slovenia, including the Slovenian Alpine region and the capital city of Ljubljana. Our first stop is the charming little town of Bled. This pearl of Slovenia sits on the banks of a mountain lake, beneath the peaks of the Julian Alps mountain range. We will visit the town, as well as an old castle nearby. Seated upon a cliff, the terraces of this medieval castle offer spectacular views of the glacial lake below.

We will then continue on to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. This city lies on the river Ljubljanica and was first built as the Roman settlement of Emona in the year 15 AD. After an earthquake destroyed the city in the 16th century, Ljubljana was rebuilt in a Renaissance style. Then, after another catastrophic earthquake in the 19th century, it was rebuilt in a neo-classical and art nouveau style. We will stroll through the Old Town, hear all about its fascinating history and enjoy a boat ride along the Ljubljanica River. After some free time, we will head back to Zagreb. (B, L)

  • Day 6: Zagreb to Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Banja Luka

Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Banja Luka

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and depart Zagreb toward Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Along the way we will make a stop at a local winery to enjoy a tour of the estate, a wine tasting and lunch.

Banja Luka, the second largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the administrative capital and largest city of the Republika Srpska (one of two official governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina). It is a notably green city, with many tree-lined avenues and parks. The city was first connected to the rest of Europe when a Roman trade route from Salona to Servitium passed right through it. To protect this route (and to enjoy the healing spring water they discovered in the area) the Romans built a fortress along the shore of the Vrbas River, the walls of which encompassed an entire town. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the Slavs took over and ruled over the region for a millennium. In 1527, the city fell to the Ottomans, who gave the city a distinct oriental touch.

Upon arrival to Banja Luka, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the beautiful town, including entrance to the impressive Cathedral of Christ the Savior (based on availability). In the evening, dinner will be served at a traditional restaurant next to the Fortress. (B, L, D)

  • Day 7: Banja Luka to Belgrade, Serbia
St. Sava Temple, Belgrade, Serbia

St. Sava Temple, Belgrade, Serbia

Today we will depart Banja Luka and travel to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Upon arrival we will have lunch, then head out for a city tour.

Belgrade is a vibrant city that is rich in history. Its most recognized landmark is the St. Sava Temple, one of the largest orthodox churches in the world. It is dedicated to Saint Sava, and is located on an open plateau which dominates the Belgrade cityscape. After the church visit, enjoy a panoramic drive along the streets of Belgrade on the way to the main street and the central square – Knez Mihailo Street and Republic Square. This square contains two of the most important cultural institutions in the city, the National Theatre and the National Museum. A walk through the lively Knez Mihailo Street will lead us to Kalemegdan Fortress and Park, the most important historical complex of the city. This fortress, also known as the Belgrade Fortress, was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic tribe before being conquered by the Romans. After the tour we will go the hotel for check-in, where you will have some time to freshen up before dinner. Our farewell dinner in the Balkans will be held at one of the finest restaurants in Belgrade. (B, L, D)

  • Day 8: Belgrade to Athens, Greece

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Athens. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for check-in. The evening is at your leisure. (B)

  • Day 9: Athens Embarkation

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the port, where you will board the Azamara Journey for a 14-night cruise to the Black Sea. (B)

  • Day 10–22: Cruising onboard the Azamara Journey
  • Day 23: Athens Disembark and Transfer to Airport for Return Flight Home

Enjoy breakfast onboard, then disembark the Azamara Journey and transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Optional 2 night Athens extension available, see “special offers” section for details.

For meals not included in your land programs, all hotels chosen include a restaurant on property where you may relax and enjoy a meal. In addition, your guide is available to make suggestions on nearby dining, shopping or sightseeing.

Port Highlights

Piraeus (Athens), Greece: You could spend a lifetime in Europe’s oldest city and still not see everything it has to offer. Settled over 3,500 years ago, Athens is like a mythological crossroads of the past and present, where modern buildings share the skyline with spectacular ruins like the Parthenon.

Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey: Once the capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor, this coastal town is now an archaeologist’s dream. This former Greek banking and trading center is rich with historic sites, including the Great Theater, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Varna, Bulgaria: Varna is handsomely laid out along the contours of the bay of the same name. This cosmopolitan city with its leafy promenades is perfect for strolling amidst baroque, turn of the 20th century, and contemporary architecture. In 1972 buried treasure was found near the port, the oldest hoard of processed gold ever discovered – 3,010 objects from 280 tombs of an ancient necropolis. Bulgaria prides itself on a documented millennia-old legacy of viniculture – the wines of ancient Thrace were praised by Homer in both The Iliad and The Odyssey. You will no doubt want to taste and savor some yourself.

Constanta, Romania: The Emperor Augustus banished the great Roman poet Ovid to Constanta in 8 AD. And while it may have been a valid form of punishment back then, we can think of far worse places to spend the rest of our life today. Continuously inhabited for over 2,600 years, Constanta is rich in history and culture, which means there’s no shortage of things to see and do.

Odessa, Ukraine: Odessa is a big city with a small town feel. An energetic and historic port, it has been described as “taking New Orleans and adding the weather of Marseilles, the people of Naples, the shop fronts of Cony Island, the grit of Baltimore, and the architecture of Paris and Rome.” But don’t get too caught up in comparisons, because Odessa is a place like no other.

Sochi, Russia: Sochi resides in that tiny portion of Russia that can boast a subtropical climate, making it a long time holiday heaven for domestic tourists – celebrities and the political elite included. During Soviet days, even Comrade Stalin had a dacha here, now open to visitors. Much has changed since then, but the fresh air, majestic mountain scenery, mineral springs, long beaches, warm sunny days, and bustling nightlife, are still a big draw.

Batumi, Georgia: Once a sleepy backwater in the former USSR, Batumi is emerging as one of the most popular destinations on the Black Sea. To truly get a sense of just how far it’s come, go for a spin on the waterfront Ferris wheel. Keep your eyes peeled for unique buildings like Alphabet Tower, replicas of the great Alexandria lighthouse and the Acropolis, and even an upside down White House.

Trabzon, Turkey: Well placed on the historic Silk Road, Trabzon was a major trade center for centuries, attracting travelers and influenced by many religions, languages, and cultures. Aya Sofya is a striking Byzantine church similarly influenced, having morphed into a mosque, and later a museum, where impressive frescoes still decorate its walls.

Kavala (Philippi), Greece: The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Kavala is the Byzantine castle built in 1425 that sits like a crown atop the city. The second thing you might notice is just how beautiful the scene before you is. Whitewashed, red-roofed buildings sit nestled amongst high stonewalls, with the azure-blue Aegean Sea lapping on the shore. A little off-the-beaten-path, locals have long treasured the city’s fantastic beaches – and Ammolofoi Beach is one of the most popular in the area. If you’re looking for a different kind of sightseeing, walk to the top of the castle or wander the streets of the colorful Panagia old quarter for plenty of shops.

Skiathos, Greece: A small island surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea, Skiáthos is part of the Sporades archipelago and features many inlets, capes, villas and endless stretches of picture-perfect beaches.

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

Included Features

  • Included Round-trip Airfare, Transfers and Baggage Handling
  • 8-night pre-cruise land program
    • Zagreb, Croatia—five-night hotel stay
      • Half-day city intro tour and welcome dinner
      • Full-day tour to Trakoscan Castle and an apple/wine farm
      • Full-day tour to Plitvice National Park and a local winery
      • Half-day cultural evening with licitar workshop and folklore performance
      • Full-day tour to Slovenia, including Lake Bled
    • Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina – one-night hotel stay
      • Winery visit with lunch
      • Half-day city tour and dinner
    • Belgrade, Serbia – one-night hotel stay
      • Half-day city tour and farewell dinner
    • Athens, Greece – one-night hotel stay
  • Tour Leader throughout pre-cruise land program and Local Tour Hosts during included tours
  • Most Meals while on Tour (see itinerary highlights) and All Meals while on Ship
  • 14-night cruise aboard Azamara Journey
    • 10% off shore excursions
    • Amenities included during your Azamara cruise:
      • AzAmazing Evenings℠ event
      • Select standard spirits, international beers and wines
      • Gratuities
      • Bottle water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
      • Self-service laundry
      • Shuttle service to and from port communities where available
      • Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

What to Expect on Your Trip

Pacing

Most days during the land portion will include full-day tours. The overall pace is rather quick, as there is much to see in these regions, however there is a healthy mix of both visits to historical sites and time to enjoy the landscape and scenery. Most days include two meals, allowing the third meal to be at your leisure. All hotels will have a restaurant on property where you may dine, then have the rest of the evening to relax. If you wish to go out, your guide is available to make suggestions for nearby dining.

During the cruise you will have a mix of relaxing days at sea and exciting days on land to explore the port cities. You may choose from optional shore excursions, which will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities.

Physical Activity

The land portion of the trip should be considered active and includes a considerable amount of walking. Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses and comfortable accommodations where applicable. However, some areas cannot be accessed by coach, so our drivers will get you as close to sites as is legally allowed. Sensible, rubber-soled walking shoes are strongly recommended. Historical sites often do not have elevators, escalators or ramps due to the age of the building/structure. Steps can be steep and uneven. Wheelchair access at many sites is limited to extremely limited. Based on crowds and traffic, order of visits may be changed. A fold-up wheelchair may be able to be stored on the bus but requires prior arrangements. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters cannot be accommodated on this group program. Guests must be able to transfer from their chair to the transportation.  Guides/drivers are not allowed to lift or push wheelchairs, so guests requiring physical assistance must travel with a companion who can assist. For the cruise portion of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer to train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

In the years following the Yugoslav Wars, tourism was almost non-existent in the Balkans. Charming multicultural towns, vast expanses of forests and national parks, and historic monasteries and citadels along the hillsides have remained unseen and unexplored by visitors. However, within the past decade this has changed, and with a new-found peace and reputation for warm hospitality, tourism is making a strong comeback. Now is the perfect time to visit. It is perhaps one of the most authentic regions in Europe, where the locals still have strong ties to their roots and maintain their local traditions, such as folk music, culinary delights and local artistry. On this Enrichment Journey you will visit a family-run farm, learn how to make licitar (a traditional dessert), tour a local winery, and hear stories of daily life and their vision for the future. You will visit breathtaking natural wonders and visit historical monuments.

The same could be said for the former Soviet Union countries surrounding the Black Sea. During your Azamara cruise you will have the chance to explore the beautiful landscapes, historical wonders and intimate cultural experiences of each region.

You will encounter dishes and ingredients typical to the region that you may not have encountered before, and you will be introduced to local artistry of the region. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when in unique situations and meeting people abroad. Sometimes the attractions, beaches and cities themselves can be crowded, especially while on the cruise.

Unique Factors

Please be cautious when talking about the region’s recent history and conflicts. Many locals are still sensitive to these topics, so it is best to avoid the subject. If the topic does come up, we advise that you politely listen and observe.

If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with your personal vacation manager before booking the trip. The temperature can vary between day and night, so pack accordingly with items that can be layered. Some guests may wish to have a light sweater or windbreaker with them.

Recommended Reading List 

Looking to learn more about the cultures, lifestyle and fun found in foreign destinations you are about to visit? We recommend these following books:

Fiction/Personal Accounts

Travels in Undiscovered Country by Tony Fabijančić

Girl at War by Sara Novic

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia by Rebecca West

Enemies, Neighbors, Friends by Lonnie Johnson

How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulić

Logavina street – Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood by Barbara Demick

Stork Mountain by Miroslav Penkov

Kaya, Belgrade, and the Good American by Mirjana Đurđević

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

War and Peace and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Iliad by Homer

The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir by Tom Stone

Travel Guides/ Blogs

Croatia – https://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/croatia-travel-guide/

Ukraine- https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/ukraine-travel-tips/

Romania- https://www.lonelyplanet.com/romania

Russia – https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/europe/russia/

Videos/Movies

Harrison’s Flowers (2001)

Much of the HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia

No Man’s Land (2001)

The Diplomat (2015)

The Battle of Neretva (1969)

Border Post (2006)

Battle For Sevastopol (2015)

The Diamond Arm (1969)

Cold Mountain (2003) was filmed in Romania

Youth Without Youth (2007)

The Barber of Siberia (1998)

Matilda (2017)

War and Peace (1956 movie or the 1967 mini-series)

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Mamma Mia! (2008)

300 (2006)

Troy (2004)

Transportation

Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airlines and routes are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, or direct, or non-stop, or Business Class flights, or to extend their time in any of our beginning or ending destination cities may do so by contacting their Travel Agent or Enrichment Journeys directly. We are pleased to provide Custom Airfare arrangements for an additional $50 per person. This charge allows you to add and/or customize your flights and can be applied toward any flights or upgrades you choose to purchase. The $50 charge must be paid prior to receiving an air quote.

Routing Transportation Approximate Travel Time
Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park Coach 2 hours
Zagreb to Lake Bled Coach 2.5 hours
Zagreb to Banja Luka Coach 4 hour
Banja Luka to Belgrade Coach 4.5 hours
Belgrade to Athens Flight 1.5 hours

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

1-Night Zagreb Pre-Cruise Extension

Want an extra day to adjust to the new time zone? With this optional extension you will arrive to Zagreb a day early and have one extra day to relax at the hotel before the tour starts. Note: tours are not included. Price of $85 per person includes:

  • 1-night hotel accommodations in Zagreb with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from airport to hotel

Space is limited.
Please call your travel agent or 1-800-296-1992 for more information and to book!

 

2-Night Athens Post-Cruise Extension

Although your Enrichment Journey program includes one night in Athens, you will have little time to explore the city and see the sites. With this optional extension you will stay for 2 nights in Athens after your cruise, giving you more time to explore the city on your own before flying home. Note: tours are not included. Price of $350 per person includes:

  • 2-night hotel accommodations in Athens with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from ship to hotel and hotel to airport

Space is limited.
Please call your travel agent or 1-800-296-1992 for more information and to book!

Ask about receiving 10% off all shore excursions from Shore Excursions Group! 

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

Dates & Prices

Aboard Azamara Journey

7/10/2020 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
10 (Inside) $12,266 $9,199 $3,067 CALL FOR DETAILS
8 (Ocean View) $12,932 $9,599 $3,233 CALL FOR DETAILS
V3 (Club Veranda) $13,866 $10,399 $3,467 CALL FOR DETAILS
V1 (Club Veranda) $14,266 $10,749 $3,517 CALL FOR DETAILS
V2 (Club Veranda) $14,332 $10,749 $3,583 CALL FOR DETAILS
N2 (Club Continent Suite) $25,999 $19,499 $6,500 CALL FOR DETAILS

Prices are in USD.

Air Add-Ons
City Add-On City Add-On
Atlanta $500 New York (Kennedy) $0
Boston $150 Philadelphia $200
Chicago $100 New York (Newark) $100
Dallas $350 San Francisco $400
Detroit $450 Seattle $400
Los Angeles $400 Toronto $200
Houston $450 Washington-Dulles $200
Miami $200
– Business Class Air Available on Request
– Additional Gateways Available on Request
– Air Add-On Rates are subject to change without notice. While we try to include the most common airports by default, we have many clients coming from different parts of the country. If you desire air from an unlisted airport, you must first reserve your Enrichment Journey with one of the listed airports as your default gateway and then ask, or have your Travel Agent ask, Enrichment Journeys to provide a quote for your preferred gateway.

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary. Please note that hotel ratings are based on TripAdvisor ratings and are subject to change.

Accommodations
Hotel Dubrovnik (Zagreb)

Ljudevita Gaja 1, PP 246, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska

Telephone: 011 385 1 4863 501

Located on the city’s main square, Hotel Dubrovnik provides a warm and friendly environment with the right dash of Zagreb’s charm and a chance to feel the pulse of Croatia’s dynamic capital. It is the only hotel located in the heart of Zagreb and it is surrounded by most of the major tourist sites such as the cathedral, Zagreb old town, Dolac market, parks, bars and restaurants.

Hotel Talija

Srpska 9, Banja Luka 78000,
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Telephone: +61 7 5665 4426 (International)

Hotel Talija is situated in the heart of Banja Luka, the administrative, cultural and sports center of the region and the biggest city in Republic of Srpska. Although located in the city center, the quiet alley offers complete relaxation and enjoyment for guests.

Life Design Hotel

Balkanska 18, Belgrade 11000, Serbia

Telephone: +381113534300 (International)

Located in Belgrade, 0.4 miles from Trg Republike Belgrade, Life Design Hotel boasts a restaurant and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. The hotel has a spa center and hot tub, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.

Azamara Journey

Cruise Line: Azamara

Azamara Club Cruises provides guests with unparalleled service: the finest dining at sea, a glorious spa and wellness experience, and innovations such as Destination Immersion®, making it one of the world’s top up-market cruise lines. With our hallmark of longer stays, more overnights and night touringSM, we’ll not only take you to awe-inspiring destinations, but also give you more time to fall in love with them.

Amenities Included

  • AzAmazing EveningsSM event
  • Select standard spirits, international beers and wines
  • Gratuities
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
  • Self-service laundry
  • Shuttle service to and from port communities where available
  • Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations

Ship: Journey

Like her sister ship, the sturdy Azamara Journey is a mid-sized beauty with a deck plan well-suited to the needs of modern voyagers. You’ll never feel crowded in the comfortable social spaces of our bars, restaurants, lounges, Casino and Cabaret. Nor will you feel like a sardine jammed in around the pool, where our attentive staff is always ready to offer a complimentary bottled water, soft drink or fresh towel. Staterooms feature modern amenities, furnishings, and European linens. And one of the greatest features of this ship is the large number of staterooms with verandas. There’s nothing better than opening your door to the fresh sea air and views. Azamara’s friendly ships are an altogether wonderful place to call your home away from home!

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

Preparing for Your Trip

Money Matters

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These are often readily available, especially in major cities. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks, if needed. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

During your trip, you’ll find that most major credit cards are accepted. Call your specific card issuer ahead of time to find out its limitations and benefits overseas.

Incidentals

Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Pack as simply as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Check with your domestic and international carriers regarding baggage guidelines, allowances, and check for additional fees. All bags will be screened before boarding flights and the cruise ship.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines for weight and size.

Labeling

Have all your bags labeled with your name and address clearly marked. Add something to you luggage that is recognizable in the event your bags are misplaced. You may also consider marking your bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for efficiency.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into the states, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you have questions about a certain item, visit www.tsa.gov for a list of items that cannot be packed.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable Journey. Be sure to check the weather in the destinations you will visit, and pack accordingly. There are always unpredictable variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key items to take on your trip:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Pants with pockets
  • Skirt with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglasses and/or glasses (if needed)

Cameras

Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment. Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If bringing a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but incur additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling your carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, in some destinations, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless internet for free.

Your Health and Comfort

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside your trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip for a covered reason up until the departure date with a full refund of the Journey.

The insurance covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, and even baggage delay. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if travel insurance is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period.

Please speak with on of our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra, just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

While on Tour

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journey. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will meet with the group and go over items such as the daily schedule, weather and local customs.

Hotels

All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high standard of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each accommodation varies so you may experience various types of properties throughout your excursions.

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

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Regional Information

Travel documentation

Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out. It is recommended that you e-mail a copy to yourself and someone back home in the event these documents are misplaced. Also, it may be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

To travel internationally, you must have a passport in good condition, and it must be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide visa information, and you should not rely on the information provided below to be the most current and accurate. The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov (Canadian citizens should visit https://travel.gc.ca/, for all other countries please visit your government website or local embassy), which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

You may also use a third-party visa service, such as Expedited Travel. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.

Note: as of January 2019, while most visitors to Turkey are required to obtain a visa beforehand, according to the state department website “U.S. citizens traveling on cruise ships can enter visa-free for a maximum of 72 hours with permission from authorities at the port of entry.”

Note: as of January 2019, while most visitors to Russia are required to obtain a visa beforehand, passengers of cruise ships are permitted to stay in Russia for up to 72 hours without a visa when accompanied by a tour operator licensed by Russian authorities

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles, and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have based on your preferences and personal medical history. During your Enrichment Journeys tour, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce.

For a list of recommended vaccinations based on destination, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel or feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention directly at 1-800-232-4636.

Electric Current

You will need an adaptor for some parts of your trip. To see what the plugs will look like at your destination, visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/ and click on each country from the right menu.

You may also need to use a converter. Most countries outside of North and Central America use 220-240 V, whereas the U.S. and Canada use 110 V. However, most chargers these days have a box which will act as a converter so that it can be used in all countries around the world. If your charger box says “Input: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz” then you do NOT need to use a converter (but you may still need an adaptor so that the plugs fit in the socket).

Some hotels may have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter. However, we recommend having at least one or two adaptors with you, as we cannot guarantee that all hotels will be able to accommodate this.

Time Differences

Please be aware that you may be crossing through several time zones throughout your Journey. To view a time zone map, visit https://m.worldtimezone.com/m-index12.php.

Money Matters

Greece, Montenegro and Slovenia use the Euro (€), currency code EUR

Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna (kn), currency code HRK

Bosnia and Herzegovina uses the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (KM), currency code BAM

Serbia uses the Serbian dinar (РСД), currency code RSD

Russia uses the Russian Ruble (‎₽), currency code RUB

Ukraine uses the Ukrainian hryvnia (₴), currency code UAH

Romania uses the Romanian Leu (lei), currency code ROM

Bulgaria uses the Bulgarian lev (лв), currency code BGN

Turkey uses the Turkish lira (₺), currency code TRY

Georgia uses the Georgian lari (₾ or ლ), currency code GEL

Please visit https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ for the current exchange rate.

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. We suggest having at least some local currency with you during the trip, at least enough to take a taxi if needed. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is always appreciated but not always required. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers, drivers, guides, and baggage handlers. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few dollars in the local currency is customary.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels, and at airports. The host, guide, or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per person, per day, as can any ship staff member (which is often split at the end of the day by all). Drivers can be tipped $5 USD per person, per day.

For more information about when and how much to tip in each country, feel free to speak with your tour guide at the start of your Journey. A good reference for international tipping is https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide.

Climate

With the tour covering various regions, you will most likely come in contact with warm and/or cool weather, occasional rain, wind and/or damp environments. Check the weather online before departing for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations.

Many countries outside of North America use Celsius. Here is a °C to °F quick reference guide:
-5° C = 23° F     5° C = 41° F     15° C = 59° F     25° C = 77° F     35° C = 95° F
0° C = 32° F     10° C = 50° F     20° C = 68° F     30° C = 86° F     40° C = 104° F

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High/Low in Fahrenheit
Zagreb 40/31 44/33 54/40 63/47 72/55 78/60 81/64 80/63 71/56 60/48 50/40 41/33
Belgrade 39/29 44/32 54/38 63/46 73/54 78/60 82/62 82/62 74/55 63/47 51/39 41/31
Athens 53/44 54/44 57/47 64/52 71/59 80/67 82/71 82/71 77/66 70/60 62/53 56/47
Constanta 40/29 42/31 49/37 58/45 68/54 76/62 81/66 80/66 73/59 63/50 52/40 43/32
Odessa 35/25 37/26 45/33 56/43 68/53 76/60 81/64 81/63 71/55 59/45 48/37 39/29
Sochi 49/38 50/38 54/41 62/48 69/55 76/62 81/67 82/67 76/61 68/54 60/47 53/41
Batumi 50/38 51/38 55/41 61/47 67/54 74/62 78/66 79/67 74/61 68/54 61/47 54/42

 

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local vernacular can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are some key words and phrases:

Croatia: Croatian

    Zdravo (z’drah-voh): Hello
    Dovidenja (Boh(n)-zhoo): Goodbye
    Kako ste? (kah-koh steh): How are you?
    Molim (moh-leem): Please
    Oprostite (oh-proh-stee-teh): Excuse me
    Da (dah): Yes
    Ne (neh): No
    Koliko ovo košta? (KOH-lee-koh oh-voh koh-shtah?) How much is this?
    Koliko je sati? (KOH-lee-koh yeh sahtee?) What time is it?
    Gdje mogu razmijeniti novac? (Gdyeh MOH-goo rahz-MEE-yeh-nee-tee NOH-vahts?) Where can I

exchange money?
Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/croatian/ for more phrases and sound.

Slovenia: Slovenian

    Živijo!: Hello
    Adijo!: Goodbye
    Žal mi je.: I’m Sorry
    Hvala!: Thank You
    ja: Yes
    ne: No

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/slovene/ for more phrases and sound.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

    • Please refer to the Croatian section above.

 

    There are three official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. However, these three languages are identical. Depending on their ethnicity, a local may claim that he speaks Bosnian, another will claim that she speaks Serbian, and another will claim that he speaks Croatian. But they are all speaking the same language.

Serbia: Serbian

    • Please refer to the Croatian section above.

 

    Serbian is a standardized variety of Serbo-Croatian language, but the differences are minimal.

Greece: Greek

    Γεια σας (YAH sahss): Hello
    Τι κάνετε (Tee KAH-neh-teh?): How are you?
    Μάλιστα (MAH-li-sta): Yes
    Όχι (OH-hee): No
    Χάρηκα (HA-ree-ka): Nice to meet you
    Παρακαλώ (Pah-rah-kah-LOH): Please
    Ευχαριστώ (Ef-hah-rees-TOH): Thank you
    Συγγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee): Excuse me
    Βοήθεια! (Voh-EE-thee-yah!): Help!
    Θέλω να πάω στην παραλία (Thelo-na pow-sti paralia): I want to go to the beach.

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/greek/ for more phrases and sound.

Russia and Ukraine: Russian and Ukranian (very similar languages)

    Привет. (pree-VYEHT): Hello
    Пожалуйста (Pah-ZHAH-luh-stuh): Please
    Спасибо. (Spuh-SEE-buh): Thank you

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/russian/ for more phrases and sound.

Bulgaria: Bulgarian

    Здравейте. (zdrah-VEY-teh): Hello
    Да. (dah): Yes
    Не. (Neh): No
    Моля. (MO-lya): Please
    Благодаря. (bla-go-da-RYAH): Thank you
    Извинете. (iz-vi-NEH-teh): Excuse me

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/bulgarian/ for more phrases and sound.

Georgia: Georgian

    Gamardschoba: Hello
    Diach: Yes
    Ara: No
    Gmadlob: Thank you
    Bodischi: Excuse me

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/georgian/ for more phrases and sound.

Romania: Romanian

    Salut: Hello
    Da: Yes
    Nu: No
    Merci: Thank you
    Scuze: Excuse me

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/romanian/ for more phrases and sound.

Turkey: Turkish

    Merhaba: Hello
    Evet: Yes
    Hayir: No
    Teşekkür ederim: Thank you
    Özür dilerim: Excuse me

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/turkish/ for more phrases and sound.

Facts and Figures

Check out these interesting facts about the destinations you will visit on your Journey.

Croatia

  • Croatia was settled in the early 7th century.
  • Besides Croatian, Italian and English are commonly spoken, especially in the cities.
  • Approximately 10% of Croatia’s land is comprised of 8 national parks, 11 nature parks and 2 nature reserves.
  • Croatia has the most UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country. These include lace making, gingerbread baking, and wooden toy carving.
  • Oscar-winning Fiddler on the Roof, Sophie’s Choice and Dr. Who all were filmed in Croatia, as were Game of Thrones and Star Wars.
  • Luka is the most popular boys’ name in Croatia, whilst Mia is currently the most popular female name.
  • The necktie was invented in Croatia.

Slovenia

  • The capital city of Ljubljana translates to “the loved one”.
  • The world’s largest ski jump is in Slovenia.
  • Slovenia is home to over 400 brown bears, probably thanks to the fact that approximately half of the country is covered in forest.
  • Beekeeping is an important part of the culture. There are currently around 90,000 beekeepers (out of a population of just two million) in the country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Its nickname is “Heart Shaped Land” because of the slight heart shape of the country.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is a nation of coffee lovers! It has the tenth highest coffee consumption per capita in the world.
  • The country consists of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (containing the capital Sarajevo) and the Republic Srpska (de facto capital of Banja Luka).
  • The country is filled with rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The name “Bosnia” comes from an Indo-European word meaning “water”.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina contains the last remaining jungle in Europe: Perucica.

Serbia

  • Serbia is the largest raspberry exporter in the world.
  • 18 Roman emperors (approx. 20%) were born on the land that is modern day Serbia.
  • The temple of the Saint Sava in Belgrade is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world.
  • The Serbian language was one of the four official languages of the Ottoman Empire. Today, the Serbian word most recognized and adopted world-wide is “vampire”.

Greece

  • There are 10.7 million people in Greece, with its capital city of Athens hosting roughly three million residents.
  • Athens was the capital of Ancient Greece and the birthplace of democracy.
  • About 80% of Greece is mountainous and 50% is covered by forests.
  • There are about 3000 islands, only a few hundred of which are inhabited.
  • Ancient Greece is said to have laid the foundation for Western civilization, having a large influence on the Roman Empire and European culture.
  • Many Greek structures such as doors, windowsills, furniture, and church domes are painted a turquoise blue, especially in the Cyclades Islands. It is used because of an ancient belief that this shade of blue keeps evil away

Russia

  • In terms of population, Russia is the ninth largest country in the world (143 million), even though it’s the world’s biggest country in terms of land area.
  • Russian language does not include a word for ‘the’ or ‘a’ which is good because these often lead to confusion in other languages.
  • There are 221 museums, 2,000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries, 62 cinemas and 80 club establishments of culture in St Petersburg.

Turkey

  • Turkey is one of the world’s largest hazelnut exporters.
  • Turkey’s coastline along the black sea stretches for over 1000 miles.
  • Tulips were introduced to Europe by traders (especially Dutch traders) from Turkey in the 16th The word “tulip” comes from the Turkish word for turban, tulbent.
  • Turkey is slightly larger than the state of Texas.
  • The ancient city of Troy was located in modern day Turkey.

Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe that hasn’t changed its name since it was first established (681 AD).
  • Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads instead of nodding.
  • Nearly a third of the country is covered in forests, which include over 40 mountains.
  • Bulgaria contains the highest number of natural mineral springs in continental Europe – over 600!
  • The Cyrillic alphabet was invented in the 9th century by two Bulgarian monks, Cyril and Methodius. The first digital wristwatch was invented by the Bulgarian Peter Petroff.

Romania

  • Romania is the ninth largest wine producer in the world.
  • Romania was a source of inspiration for two very famous novels: “The Castle in the Carpathians” by Jules Verne, and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.
  • Europe’s second largest underground glacier, the Scarisoara glacier, is found underneath the Bihor Mountains in Romania.
  • The earliest Homo sapiens fossils, up to now, were discovered in 2002 in south-western Romania, in the Cave of Bones. The fossil’s age is estimated at 37,800 to 42,000 years old.
  • The Danube to Black Sea canal in southeast Romania is world’s third longest man-made navigation route, after the Suez and the Panama Canals.
  • The name “Romania” comes from the Latin word “Romanus” which means “citizen of the Roman Empire.” The Romanian language is a Romance language, cousin to Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. It is the only Romance language still spoken in Eastern Europe.

Ukraine

  • Ukrainians wear their wedding rings on the right hand instead of the left.
  • Ukraine has many interesting animals including lynxes, wolves, wild boar, brown bears, beavers, otters, hamsters and gophers. Carp, bream and catfish are common fish species, while Great White Pelicans are native to south-west areas.
  • The popular Easter egg tradition originated in Ukraine. Originally, the eggs were patterned using wax and dye. The wax was eventually removed leaving an impressive pattern with dashing colors.
  • Ukrainians love drinking horilka (“burning water”), which is a local variant of the famed vodka (“little water”). Locals often flavor this national drink with chilli pepper to give it a bit more punch.

Georgia

  • Georgians don’t call their country Georgia, they call it Sakartvelo. Since St. George is believed to be the patron saint of the region, the name might have been coined by Christian reformers in the Middle Ages.
  • Georgia is considered to be the birthplace of wine making. It was produced for the first time, by accident, over 8,000 years ago. UNESCO has listed the traditional Georgian winemaking method – in a clay jar called a Qvevri – on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.
  • Georgia has 12 different climate zones, ranging from subtropical to alpine to semi-desert, and has 49 types of soil. This makes Georgia one of the most ecologically diverse countries on Earth.

Journey to Croatia, the Balkans and the Black Sea

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